Playoff Preview?

The Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs could be headed for a second-round meeting in the playoffs. This game may be critical in determining which team has the home-court advantage for that potential matchup as the Suns and Spurs close their regular-season series on Thursday night.

The Suns lead the Spurs by three games in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Both teams wrapped up playoff berths a while ago, but this could be a possible conference semifinal preview if both were to advance past the first round, and home-court advantage could be crucial.

Oddsmakers have made San Antonio -4 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 206 total

points (View NBA Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 78% of bets for this game have been placed on Phoenix +4 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

The winner of this game will win the season series, which would be the tiebreaker if the teams end the regular season tied. They have split two meetings this season, with each team winning at home.

The Spurs, though, have won 10 of 13 overall between the teams and six straight at home. San Antonio is 11-1 at the AT&T Center against Phoenix since the start of the 2000-01 season.

Those totals don't include two playoff victories by the Spurs this decade, including a 4-1 series win in the 2005 conference finals.

"They're one of the best in the league," San Antonio forward Tim Duncan said of the Suns. "It's a great test time for us, especially coming down toward the end of the season here.

"It's good to have them coming into our house here and be able to measure up a little bit."

Phoenix (56-18) had to fend off a rally by Memphis, the NBA's worst team, on Tuesday night before coming away with a 116-111 victory. The Suns were up by 14 points in the third quarter before Memphis made it close at the end as Phoenix got off to an unimpressive start on its four-game road trip.

"It's about us. We have to take care of us," Suns forward Shawn Marion said. "This is the first game of this road trip. We had to get the first game and now that it came, it's time to move on to San Antonio."

Perhaps the Suns were suffering from a letdown after easily beating the league-best Dallas 126-104 on Sunday. Phoenix shot an NBA season-best 65 percent in the win over the Mavericks before hitting 51.2 percent from the field on Tuesday, when it had problems slowing down the potent Memphis offense.

"We wanted to put them away early, win by 40 or 50 points and get them out of there so we could rest up," said Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire, who has 51 points over the last two games. "But Memphis was like: 'Nah. We're not having it tonight. We're going to come out here and compete.' And that's what they did."

Phoenix extended its winning streak to three games and won for the first time in four road contests. The Suns figure to get even more of a test from San Antonio, which has won 20 of its past 23 games to pull closer to the second seed.

The Spurs (53-21) began a five-game homestand with a 110-91 win over Seattle on Tuesday night, rebounding from a 100-99 loss to Indiana on Sunday that snapped their six-game winning streak.

San Antonio led by as many as 26 points while Bruce Bowen tied his career high with six 3-pointers and finished with 18 points.

"People are going to leave him for that shot," Duncan said. "His entire career they have and I still don't know why. He loves to line it up and we love for him to take that shot."

The Spurs have won five straight and 12 of 13 at home.

By: Marc Young - - Email Us

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